A few weeks ago I was pondering carbon offsets. Since then, I've read Carleton's thoughtful Shrinking Footprints blogpost about offsetting vacation travel. I've also noticed that Click and Clack, the Car Talk guys from NPR whose names are really Tom and Ray Magliozzi, have a webpage urging people (1) to drive less and choose transportation best suited to the task (one human being shouldn't need to fuel four tons of steel and 300 horsepower every time they need to go somewhere), and (2) to consider purchasing carbon offsets. They provide a nice resource page with further info on companies that sell offsets.
So, I've taken the plunge. After visiting several sites, I chose CarbonCounter.org, a project of The Climate Trust, to purchase my offsets. I liked the breadth of the types of project they invest in. They have, as do most of these sites, a "calculate your carbon footprint" tool that weighs your household energy usage, vehicle use, and air travel to give you an idea of the level of offsets to purchase. For about the price of a large pizza per month, I will be investing in projects aimed at energy efficiency, renewable energy, carbon sequestration, cogeneration, material replacement, and transportation efficiency. I can soon consider at least my home energy use and travel to be approximately carbon-neutral. I have also signed up for Xcel's WindSource program and am focusing my food purchases on more local sources. My contributions in these ways are small, but I believe in their power.